Walmazon E-Commerce and Brick-and-Mortar Hybrids—How Does Your Brand Compete?

23 Oct 2017
Elizabeth Silas

Whether you’re a retailer or one of the many brands that wants to stock their (real and metaphorical) shelves, the answer is not ‘price.’

Customer Experience –> Customer Bond

Today’s customers have lofty expectations when it comes to spending their money. With more and more consumers moving to the Internet for their purchasing needs, companies of all sizes are focused on improving the customer experience.

As these larger companies put greater focus on e-commerce, smaller retailers will be forced to move in a similar direction. While these companies may not be able to compete on price, a unique opportunity exists to focus on something that larger organizations cannot do as easily: a personalized customer experience.

Opportunities abound for smaller retailers to provide a personalized, best-in-class customer experience through the use of real-time interactions.

Savvy retailers take advantage of digital services such as social media to listen to and interact with their customers about a wide variety of topics. Not only does this help smaller retailers differentiate from Walmart and Amazon, it can help these businesses build an incredibly loyal fanbase.

Big Data Describes the Past—Focus on the Future

Competing with the likes of Amazon and Walmart is an uphill battle for small and mid-size retailers today. It’s not enough to passively “listen in” on social media charter about your brand and jump in when there’s a problem or complaint. Your connections with your customers must become more proactive.

The huge retailers have access to lots of big-picture data on their consumers’ preferences, which we all need. Past preferences, of course, help predict future buying. However, that mass of data that Amazon has about its Prime members (and now about Whole Foods shoppers) is mostly just that— from the past.

Consumers’ preferences and needs now change not by the season, but by the week or by the day. Your brand can differentiate itself by focusing on your consumer’s wants, needs, and desires for the future.

Coming up: How do you tease out what your customers will want and need in the future?

Elizabeth Silas

 Author: Elizabeth Silas

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